LOUISVILLE-BASED ABIOCOR SURGEONS
UPDATE PATIENTS' PROGRESS
(Louisville, Ky.) - The University of Louisville surgeons
who implanted the first and second AbioCor implantable hearts on
July 2 and September 13 at Jewish Hospital issued a statement today
regarding the progress of each patient. Drs. Laman Gray and Rob
Dowling continue to be optimistic regarding the recovery of their
patients, Bob Tools and Tom Christerson.
Bob Tools, 59, Franklin, Kentucky
"Bob is doing just great," Dowling said.
"He has continued to take trips outside the hospital, and he
truly enjoys that. It gives him a lot to look forward to."
Dr. Gray added that, 96 days after surgery, Mr. Tools continues
to undergo daily rehab at Frazier Rehab Institute and his lungs,
kidneys and liver continue to function normally.
Tom Christerson, 70, Central City, Kentucky
"As we explained in the early days of Mr. Tools' experience
with the AbioCor," Gray said, "it is not at all unusual
for patients with end-stage CHF to be on and off ventilator support
as they recover from major surgery. Mr. Christerson has actually
needed much less time on ventilator support than did Mr. Tools,
but this week he has needed the ventilator to rest his body for
its ongoing recovery." Gray continued, "We anticipate
removing him from ventilator support in the next few days."
The surgeons have no immediate plans for individual
interviews or a news briefing. Plans for such an update will be
communicated as soon as they are available.
Jewish Hospital is among the top 10 cardiac centers
in the United States and, along with the University of Louisville,
is dedicated to excellence in patient care, research and education.
University of Louisville surgeons at Jewish Hospital have performed
many heart care "firsts," including Kentucky's first heart
transplant, the world's first heart transplant following the use
of a Thoratec bi-ventricular assist device, the world's first endoscopic
saphenous vein harvest and the first ventricular remodeling in the
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